IIoT has developed along two parallel tracks over the past several years. On the marketing track, IIoT has been in the golden phase where its promised benefits are infinite, anything is possible and everything can be measured.
But on the parallel implementation track, the wheels are just creaking into motion. Most of the focus among IIoT technology suppliers has been on connectivity: connecting machines and collecting the data.
One of manufacturing’s virtues is its practicality. For industry, the acid test of new technology is simple: does it increase your productivity? Industrial companies have quickly discovered that getting all their manufacturing data together by itself doesn’t solve any problems. The challenge is making sense of that data.
That’s hard. And in manufacturing it’s probably more difficult than in any other business because of the “variety problem.” The typical shop floor includes hundreds, if not thousands, of data sources, each continuously generated in multiple streams. Time series data, ordinal, image and point cloud, text, serialization — all on different time frames, from different sources and of different types.